Qatar strategy beats effects of siege on drugs sector
March 10 2018 12:54 AM
Abdullatif Al Khal
Al Khal said that the national health strategy ensures the provision of high-quality healthcare free of charge for citizens and almost-free to residents in Qatar


Qatar has successfully overcome the repercussions of the siege on the pharmaceutical sector and is working hard to strengthen this sector through carefully studied measures, chairman of the medicines committee at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Abdullatif Al Khal told reporters on the sidelines of the pharmaceutical sector conference.

During the past year, Qatar spent around QR1.2bn on medicines used by HMC and the Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC), he said, adding that this reflects its keenness on providing health services and medical care to citizens and residents.
Al Khal said that the national health strategy ensures the provision of high-quality healthcare free of charge for citizens and almost-free to residents in Qatar, pointing out that government health institutions receive daily tens of thousands of patients who receive high-quality medical care and the best medicines and drugs available in the world.
HMC and PHCC alone provide 14,500 prescriptions per day, or 40,000 medicines per day, while outpatient clinics alone give over 12,000 prescriptions, he said.
Al Khal pointed to the State's successful efforts in confronting the repercussions of the siege on the pharmaceutical sector as well as its plans to bolster this vital sector.
There is a new strategy, he added, to ensure the provision of sufficient medical stocks for at least 12 months instead of six months that was adopted before the blockade, reassuring citizens and residents that the pharmaceutical sector is strong and that all measures taken by the state succeeded in securing this sector to provide medicines at the same pace as before the siege or even better.
The chairman of the medicines committee stressed the importance of benefiting from the current conditions for building national capacities in the field of pharmaceutical industries and developing a strategy that responds to these aspirations.
The pharmaceutical sector conference, organised by Qatar University under the title "Medication Sector in Qatar: Hand in Hand Facing the Blockade", got underway on Friday.

The conference was attended by 150 pharmacists, specialists from the pharmaceutical field, expertise from pharmaceutical industries and representatives from the Qatari health sector.
The conference covers three main themes represented by medication management and accessibility to medication in Qatar, building pharmaceutical industry and innovation in Qatar and building human capacity in Qatar.

In his opening remarks, President of Qatar University Dr Hassan Rashid Al Derham stressed the importance of the conference in raising awareness among the health sector's members on how to confront the siege and reduce its repercussions on this sector, especially with regard to the pharmaceutical aspect.
He expressed his confidence that this conference, with a number of prominent intellectual and academic figures involved, will be able to make constructive and effective recommendations and proposals that would enable the health sector to overcome the current challenges.
The QU President said that the country's health sector is an important element in building society, adding that the State of Qatar, through its full awareness of the importance of this sector, is working to provide the best level of health care and provide health services to all its inhabitants.
He also pointed to a report by the Oxford Business Group which says that Qatar tops the Middle East countries in terms of the health sector expenditure relative to GDP.
Dr Al Derham touched on the national health strategy (2017-2022) of the Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030, which states that healthy population is critical to Qatar's future success, stressing that the State of Qatar has succeeded, thanks to its capabilities, potentials, plans and strategies to overcome the challenges and difficulties arising from the current siege and to turn them into opportunities that contribute to capacity-building and sustainable development.
He added that the sudden siege imposed on the State of Qatar contravenes all international legislation guaranteeing the patient's right to health care and treatment."The blockade was intended to affect the normal course of life in the state, but Qatar has been able to overcome this challenge." 
He stressed that the state worked tirelessly to support the future plans and the promising QNV 2030, of which the health sector is part, as it is keen on this sector and considers it a priority.
Dean of College of Pharmacy Dr Mohammad Diab said the conference provides a platform for all stakeholders in the medical sector in Qatar to discuss and exchange ideas, share the initiatives of the various institutions, and coordinate between them to ensure the security of this important sector and ensure its optimal progress.
For his part, chairman of the medicines committee at Hamad Medical Corp Abdullatif Al Khal made a presentation on the performance of pharmaceutical sector in the State of Qatar, the repercussions of the siege on this sector and the successful efforts exerted by the State to ensure medicines security.

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